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Ohio Experiments With Computerized Food Stamp Card

March 28, 1992

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) _ Gov. George Voinovich went grocery shopping Friday to demonstrate an experimental program to replace paper food stamps with plastic computer cards.

A recipient’s benefits are loaded onto the card at the beginning of each month. Special devices at grocery stores then electronically charge off each food purchase.

″It’s a lot more convenient,″ said one recipient, Penny Rainey. ″No more waiting in the food stamp lines. You don’t have to worry about counting out the coupons any more or worry about whether anybody’s going to steal them out of your purse.″

Voinovich said he believes the cards will be more convenient for food stamp recipients and reduce paperwork and fraud.

Betty Jo Nelsen, administrator of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s food and nutrition service division, said the experiment is the only one of its kind in the country.

″The whole nation is going to be looking very closely at what happens here,″ she said.

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